Our staff provides excellent funeral planning services
We have years of experience caring for families from all walks of life, cultures and faiths. Our unsurpassed staff and our family provide kind, caring, professional service. Each family comes to us because they know we are leaders in our profession who are dedicated to excellence in service, adhere to the highest funeral industry standards, and have exceptional integrity. We consistently earn phenomenally high customer satisfaction survey results.
Our licensed, professional staff is here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please call 413-733-5311 anytime. We will even come to you to make arrangements in the comfort of your home.
Prompt, compassionate service is always just a phone call away, where and when you need it.
President, Funeral Director
Frank was born and raised in Springfield, Massachusetts. From his earliest childhood memories, Frank aspired to be a funeral director and follow in the footsteps of his father, Anthony J. Forastiere (1911-1999), and his grandfather, Frank M. Forastiere (1879-1952). After earning his Bachelor’s Degree at American International College in Springfield, Massachusetts and an Associate’s Degree in Funeral Service from the New England Institute of Anatomy and Funeral Directing, Boston, Massachusetts in 1969, Frank formally joined the family business. At the top of Frank’s list of goals is that every family must be served at a superior level so that their funeral experience contributes to the honor and fine memory of the deceased. “We have a very small window of opportunity to serve a family and to do so flawlessly; there are no second chances.”
Frank is the father of four daughters, two of whom are involved in funeral service along with two of his sons-in-law. Frank is a member of many local and national service and fraternal organizations as well as the Massachusetts Funeral Directors Association; he served as its president in 1999-2000.
The forth daughter to Lila (Gadaire) and Frank Forastiere, Loren stayed local while attending Springfield public schools. She obtained her Bachelor’s from Western New England, MBA from University of Hartford, and Mortuary Science Degree from Hudson Valley. Prior to funeral service, Loren worked in insurance and hospitality. Loren continues the tradition of personal, quality service that her great-grandfather, grandfather, uncle and father instilled and continue to instill as the Forastiere legacy. Being fourth generation is unique to this area.
“We are all faced with difficult times in our lives, and when someone we love dies, it begins an emotional experience when trying to grieve, find a path to begin healing, while needing to make timely decisions. I am truly honored to help in that area and walk along with families and individuals to help provide guidance and support when they need it most.” – Loren Forastiere
When she is not at work, Loren is usually outdoors hiking with her husband, Brian Kastner, who is a Funeral Director, CFSP and Location Manager of Colonial Forastiere Funeral & Cremation, their daughter and dog, cooking, enjoying music, playing games, reading, and spending time with family and friends.
Loren is a board member and Secretary for the Agawam Council on Aging, a member of the Board of Trustees for the Captain Charles Leonard House, Agawam Lions Club, former Chair of the Western MA Chapter of American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and Agawam Rotary Club, LBAG Longmeadow Business Analyze Group and volunteer for many fundraising and community events.
JoAnn began her second Career as a funeral director in 1998. She earned her degree in Mortuary Science from Briarwood College in Southington, CT. Previously, she earned her B.A. Degree from American International College, Springfield and her M.A. Degree in Education of the Hearing-Impaired from Gallaudet University, Washington, DC. She taught at the Maryland and the American Schools for the Deaf and worked as a freelance sign language interpreter.
Always being involved in nurturing and caring fields, the transition to becoming a funeral director seemed quite natural to her. JoAnn spent her first 13 years as a funeral director helping families pre-plan their funerals and was the Manager of the Funeral Preplanning department. In 2011, looking for a new challenge and wanting to carry families through the entire process from arrangements to completion of the funeral, JoAnn started working with families at the time of a loved one’s death. “I love meeting families and helping them plan and carry out ceremonies that reflect the unique life we are honoring and are meaningful to survivors. I feel blessed to have this opportunity to help others during one of the most difficult times in their life.”
JoAnn and her husband Scott are the proud parents of three sons. She is a member of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Hand Bell Choir and the National Funeral Directors Association.
Funeral Director, Location Manager of Southwick Forastiere Funeral & Cremation
Michael was raised in Ware, Massachusetts and attended Holyoke Community College. It was during this time that he found an interest in the funeral profession and worked for area funeral homes part-time. In 1975, Michael moved to Boston and has been involved in funeral work on a full-time basis ever since. Michael was a 1978 Honors Graduate of the former New England Institute, Kenmore Square in Boston. He is a licensed funeral director in both Massachusetts and Connecticut.
Michael worked for 20 years in Connecticut before joining the Forastiere Family in March 2004. “Coming back to the Springfield area is very meaningful to me as I spent so much of my youth in this area. Serving families has always been very rewarding. Creating a personal service which will enshrine the memory of a loved one is of the utmost importance to me.”
Michael lives in Connecticut with his wife, Marianne, and daughter, Angelina. His pastimes include spending time with his family, and exploring , photographing, and hiking all over Western Massachusetts.
Funeral Director, CFSP, Location Manager of Colonial Forastiere Funeral & Cremation
Brian has been a licensed funeral director for over twenty-five years. He believes that “honoring a life lived is one of the greatest gifts to begin healing. Helping families at one of the most difficult times they will experience is personally meaningful to me. Each family is unique, and that is a beautiful beginning to remembering a loved member of their family. Whether it’s a simple tribute, a celebration of one’s life, or more detailed and ceremonial, every family and their requests are important. I am honored to walk with them during this time.” His interest in funeral service came naturally because of his caring demeanor and desire to serve and help others.
Hailing from Wisconsin, Brian graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree and Mortuary Science Degree from the University of Minnesota. Brian managed funeral homes and a crematory, as well as owned his own funeral home in Wisconsin before moving to New England in 2006. He is married to Loren Forastiere where they work united in the family business. In his spare time Brian enjoys golf, live music, exercising, being outdoors, and spending time with his family and friends. Brian is a member of the Agawam Lions Club and the Knights of Columbus. To answer the question asked on multiple occasions….Yes, he is of course a “cheese head” – Go Packers!!
Emily was born and raised in North Adams, MA and graduated from Drury High School. She then attended Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, NY, where she obtained her A.A.S. in Mortuary Science. Relocating to the Springfield area in 2008, she began working in funeral service. She currently lives in West Springfield with her husband, Christopher and their son, Christopher, Jr.
Emily enjoys music, fishing, going to the Big E, and spending time with her family.
“Being able to assist people through the process of planning a meaningful representation of their loved one’s life is the most rewarding experience for me. I am truly honored to be able to do this for the families we serve.”
Funeral Director, CCSP
Jackie Curtis has been with the Forastiere family since 2017. When Jackie works with a family she encourages them to share stories and memories of their loved one. She tailors each funeral service to the needs of the families with a personalized touch, and helps walk them through each step of the process. Her kindness and compassion gives her a sense of responsibility and pride.
Jackie is from the MetroWest area where she worked for 13 years in the pharmacy industry. Her second career in funeral directing has given her an opportunity to continue caring for the people in her community. In her free time she enjoys reading, going to live music events, vacationing on Cape Cod, and spending time with her family.
Jackie graduated valedictorian from FINE Mortuary College with an associate’s degree in Mortuary Science, she is a Certified Cremation Service Provider and is currently working on her Bachelor’s in Business Management from UMASS Amherst and funeral celebrant training.
“Every day I am grateful to have an opportunity to make a difference with the families we serve. The most rewarding part of funeral service is when families share with me the burden I have helped to lift, and the appreciation they have for everything we do. Each family is unique and special attention is needed for each detail. I am fortunate to work with a thoughtful, trustworthy and compassionate team.”
Funeral Director & Pre-Planning Specialist
Gary A Szewczyk, a licensed funeral director with over 42 years of experience, has specialized in advance funeral planning for the past 24 of those years. His specific role is to assist individuals and families in planning for an event that is going to happen one day, so that those who are left behind are not burdened with making all the decisions that need to be made at a time when one is grieving.
Gary’s compassion and professionalism can guide you through the process of planning one’s final arrangements, and he promises you that the “Peace of Mind” you will feel once you have met with him, can never truly be measured. Planning ahead is truly of gift to your loved ones who are left behind.
Katherine (Kate) is a graduate of Holyoke High School and Johnson and Wales University. Kate has worked in the Holyoke and Chicopee area as a Funeral Assistant before joining the Forastiere team and obtained her Associate of Applied Science Degree in Mortuary Science from Hudson Valley Community College in 2018.
When not working she enjoys volunteering, trying new restaurants with friends, trips to Cape Cod with family, and spending time with her pug, Bentley.
Kate has a genuine passion to help the families she serves honor their loved ones and is very grateful to be a part of the Forastiere team.
Denisa was born in Brooklyn, NY and moved to Worcester when she was 10 years old and has lived there ever since. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree from Framingham State University and, shortly after, her Associate of Science degre from F.I.N.E. Mortuary College. Denisa expressed interest in the funeral industry at an early age. In her senior year of high school, she began an internship at a local funeral home, where her passion and commitment to serving families flourished.
"Being able to be serve families through a very difficult and vulnerable time in their life is honorable and rewarding. To know and feel that what I do matters is a blessing and I'm grateful for it. "
In her spare time, she enjoys the outdoors, the beach and, most importantly, spending time with her fiancé, Chris, and her family.
(Left to Right): Andrea Cassesse, Katie Hare, Tiffany Candelaria, and Anne Dowdell.
(Left to Right): Kevin Davis, Shannon George, Eric Daris, and Kiersten Veroneau. (not shown) Jesenia Cabrera and Brittany Montanez